(KCPW News) Utahns would be able to brandish a gun when they’re threatened, under a bill proposed by Republican Representative Stephen Sandstrom. In a committee hearing today, he said this would make residents safer.
“It gives law-abiding citizens another mechanism to defend themselves without doing what nobody ever wants to do, and that is fire a weapon,” he said.
The bill would clarify that people can display their concealed weapons if they believe it’s necessary. Currently, this is just an implied right, meaning a person could still be prosecuted for it.
But Democratic Representative Larry Wiley expressed concerns about the safety of showing off a concealed weapon.
“I just have a comment, because I’m just listening to this as oh, me John Q Citizen here is very proficient in handling a firearm. And I’ve gone through the course, but I didn’t really learn the proficiency of using a firearm,” said Wiley. “And I’m really quite concerned that you get into situations and not being proficient, you’re not thinking clearly. All you’re thinking about is protection.”
Under Sandstrom’s proposal, a person who displays a dangerous weapon in a heated manner, rather than in self-defense, would still be charged with a misdemeanor. The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee will take public comment and vote on the bill at a later meeting.
Story by Emily Rodriguez-Vargas